04 June 2009

Strawberry Cupcake Bug

I caught the strawberry cupcake bug. Several of my favorite blogs recently posted tempting strawberry cupcake recipes. Shelby over at The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch did a riff on a recent Cooking Light recipe. Lori of RecipeGirl fame also baked up a version of the cupcakes with the prettiest frosting. All of these lovely pink cupcakes were rattling around in my head, making me want to jump on the cupcake bandwagon. Then my dear friend Allison suggested we head to a local strawberry farm last week and pick a couple baskets for eating. We ended up at Jacquemin Farms which was less than 15 minutes from my house and had rows of beautiful red berries for us to pick. In less than 20 minutes we had picked over 8 quarts - enough for us to eat for the week. And definitely enough for me to finally act on those strawberry cupcakes.

Fate conspired to give me even more reasons to make strawberry cupcakes. I had plans to see some old work friends for a lunch, and I wanted to surprise one of them for their birthday. I succeeded! He didn't think that I would remember that he is turning 50 in the next week, but I remembered by bringing him strawberry cupcakes! Later that same day, I was headed to my sister's house for a few days of fun. I figured my nieces would love the chance to eat a delicious, naturally pink cupcake.

I am really happy I caught the strawberry cupcake bug! I have never eaten a strawberry cupcake, and I cannot say why they sounded particularly good to me this spring. But I think that this will become a springtime baking staple for me - so easy to make and mildly flavored with fresh strawberries and vanilla. I turned to Martha Stewart for the recipe that I used - and I nearly followed it to the letter. In fact, I only deviated from the recipe while making the frosting since I wanted a cream cheese flavor in mine. The recipe is actually from Candace Nelson of Sprinkles Cupcakes. I think I saw Sprinkles Bakery's appearance on the Martha Stewart show when it originally aired, but it didn't really tempt me then. Times change. These cupcakes are delightfully moist (I even ate the last one three days after baking, and the cake was still delicious!), very mildly flavored and easy to put together. The hardest part is making the strawberry puree but a food processor makes that a zip. When I make them again, I think I might try adding some dried strawberries to the batter because I would like the extra strawberry punch that might add (others have mentioned strawberry extract, but I think the dried berries might enhance the strawberry flavor similarly). Definitely give in to your strawberry cupcake craving and try these tasty cupcakes.

Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcakes
by Candace Nelson

Makes 1 dozen.
  • 2/3 cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Head to Martha Stewart for the Sprinkles' Strawberry Icing recipe.


HoneyB said...

I like how your cupcakes rose to the occasion!

RecipeGirl said...

RecipeGirl "fame"? I love that. I'm so famous LOL!!! I'm glad you jumped on the bandwagon... did you want to eat the batter as much as I did? I couldn't stop shoving spoonfuls into my mouth. Your cupcakes are so cute- love the dunked frosting look!

Josie said...

Thanks for the inspiration ladies :)

Lori... holy cow... I could have sat down with the bowl and a spoon and eaten all of the batter. To the point that the cupcakes almost couldn't live up to how delicious the batter itself was - how does that happen?!?

Laura said...

The cream cheese frosting was BRILLIANT--I did not expect to like these and ending up eating multiple. They were awesome!